Sunday, April 2, 2017

Now on Netflix: FirstBorn (2016)

FirstBorn (2016) - Directed by Nirpal Bhogal; Written by Nirpal Bhogal, Sean Hogan; Starring Antonia Thomas, Jonathan Hyde, Luke Norris, Lucy Chappell, Eileen Davies, Georgie Smith.

By Kenny Howell

Great horror films play with what is not seen either by the audience or by our protagonist(s).

The dread of not knowing what is there is what builds the tension, especially when we know it is there, but the character in the film does not.

FirstBorn tries to sort of play with that first aspect, but it does it in such a way that not only is the thing that we fear is not there, but also the fear itself is absent.

It's a pretty standard horror trope, a little girl is born to a couple, and there is some kind of possession or demonic presence around her. As she gets older, she has the ability to recognize that something is going on, and can verbalize to her parents what is happening. That is when they really ramp up trying to find help to try to keep the demons at bay.

The frightening scenes of FirstBorn come in glimpses, and while I think you can make a horror film without the monster being a dominant entity, it is pretty absent here. It's hard to tell really what shape it takes, so it is difficult to really be scared of it. The actors do what they can to sell it, but there is just not that much here to sell.

FirstBorn is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: *

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